Welcome to the November 26, 2012 edition of Drew’s Views. This video post provides an introduction to the standard New Way Air Bushing product line, including the company’s Metric and English versions, their characteristics, and how to install them, as well as some visual examples of how they are being applied. To see the video, just click ‘Read More’ and then ‘Play.’
For those of you who may be new to Air Bushings, this basic introduction starts with a quick visual overview of the company’s Metric (13mm – 75mm diameter) and English or Imperial (0.25″ – 3.00″) product line sizes, so you’ll know what you have to work with right off-the-shelf. From there, the video delves into Air Bushing specifications and performance characteristics, beginning with a quick tour of where you can find this information for any size air bushing on the New Way Web Site, which provides technical information, lift-load curves, stiffness equations, engineering drawing and solid models, as well as similar information for the ancillary components critical to air bushing installation and use, including: Mounting Blocks, End Mounts, Shafting, O-Rings, Tubing and Air Fittings.
Beyond these basics, you may find the overview useful even if you are experienced with New Way Air Bushings, because it is full of helpful hints and background which may make your foray into precision linear or rotary motion even more effective, efficient, and productive.
This starts with a discussion of why you may want to use Air Bushings in the first place: Because of the ready-availability of inexpensive precision shafting, whether you’d prefer to utilize hardened steel or stainless steel shafts, tubing, arrow shafts, carbon fiber, plastic, or glass.
In the video, Drew then demonstrates how to insert an Air Bushing into a Mounting Block, to show just how easy it really is. He first applies some 91% isopropyl alcohol to the outside of the Air Bushing, before simply pushing it into the Block. He then shows how the O-rings align with holes in the Mounting Block (some call it a Pillow Block), allowing you to inject the epoxy after insertion. This is all done with the air pressure on, allowing the bushing to self-center in the block. When the epoxy cures,the bushing is hard-mounted in place.
Drew then demonstrates the Frictionless Motion®️ of a functioning Air Bushing Stage, complete with all of the components described above.
After this, an array of Air Bushing applications are described including:
Slow but ultra-smooth motion (Shown: A novel tone arm for a record player).
High-speed motion without wear (Shown: A Voice-coil application).
Control-Theory Labs (Shown: MIT classroom).
Heavy-Duty Industrial Applications (Shown: Friction, Viscosity, and Force-Measuring).
And there are many more.
New Way will also manufacture custom bushings for applications with significant follow-on orders. Drew shows several examples, while describing new way capabilities to manufacture larger bushings up to one meter in diameter, as well as custom housings, if required. He also notes that New Way manufactures thrust bushings which also feature axial constraint, enabling you to make simple, inexpensive spindles.